Academy Senior Wins 9 of 10 Events
ARCADIA, Calif. — Albuquerque Academy senior Curtis Beach set — no, make that smashed — a national high school record in the decathlon on Thursday and Friday, winning nine of 10 events at the Arcadia Invitational in amassing a score of 7,909.
The old prep record is believed to be about 7,440. Beach’s total would have placed him third in last year’s NCAA men’s decathlon championships.
In a post-event interview with RunnerSpace.com, Beach said the record performance came as a result of focusing on each event as it came.
“I thought I could get it last year, but I never put a good decathlon together,” he said. “I came in with a totally different mind-set this time, just doing the best I can in each event and seeing what happens instead of trying to live up to expectations.”
Beach, competing unattached in a prestigious California high school meet, placed first in the 100-meter dash (10.99 seconds), the long jump (22 feet, 10½ inches), the shot put (44-8), the high jump (6-9½), the 400 meters (48.16), the 110-meter hurdles (14.42), the pole vault (14-5¼), the javelin (155-9) and the 1,500 meters (4:09.48). He was second in the discus (133-4) and won the overall competition by more than 1,500 points.
Beach said his biggest improvement came in the javelin, where he bested his previous top effort by some 25 feet.
“I went from 130 (feet) to 155,” he said. “I threw two 47-plus-meter throws (154 feet or better), so I think it will continue to improve.”
Needing a time of 4:10 in the final event — the 1,500 meters — to reach 7,900, he finished almost 40 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.
“I’m really, really happy,” he said. “I’ve trained hard for a really long time.”
Beach has signed to attend Duke next fall, but first will compete for Academy this spring. In last year’s state meet, he won four events (110- and 300-meter hurdles, long jump, high jump) and finished second in the 200 meters to score a meet-best 33 points. He was later named Gatorade’s New Mexico Boys track and field athlete of the year and won the Great Southwest meet decathlon championship.